Selecting a Cat! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2004, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Selecting a Cat!

Lately, I’ve been really interested in getting a cat (or kitten). Even thinking about it drives me crazy. There are so many things to think about:

Which is the right breed for me?
How will I know which cat is right for me?
Should I get a cat or a kitten?
Should I get it from an animal rescue, pet store, or breeder?
Should I get a domestic or purebred?
How will I know what type of personality the cat has?
If I get a kitten, how will I know how it’s going to look when it gets older?
What is the best age to get the cat at?
Should I get a male or female?

And of course, the if’s are even worse:

What if the cat isn’t at all personable and just doesn’t bond?
What if the cat has a lot of health problems?
What if the cat has behavioral issues like peeing in places, spraying, being overly aggressive?
What if the cat is dysfunctional, or has a disease?
What if the cat had a bad history, or was separated from it’s mother to soon?

The only thing I’m sure of right now is that I want it to be a short haired, neutered or spayed, not de-clawed and an indoor cat.

Sorry to think about all the negative things and the what if’s. Even though any of those could happen, I realize that chances of them happening are probably small and I’m just being over worried.

I was told that I will know the cat that is for me when I see it, is this true?

Thanks for an advice or suggestions anyone could lend me!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2004, 06:01 PM
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I'm so glad you're doing your research before adoption. Kudos!

I think its true that you will know which cat is for you when you see it. That makes most of your questions moot, but I'll do my best to answer them anyway.

Only you know the right breed for you. Are you interested in a very active, vocal cat like a Siamese or a more laid back personality like a Persian? Those are the extremes and I think you'll do well with any breed.

Getting a cat or kitten is entirely up to you. A lot of people like to watch the antics of kittens, but they are sometimes hard to deal with because they are mischievous and get into everything.

If you're just looking for a pet and not a particular breed, go to an animal rescue. If you're looking for a specific breed, check your local shelters and then check out breeders. Never, ever buy a cat from a pet store.

Again, the issue of a mixed breed or purebred is entirely up to you. If you don't already have a preference, I'd recommend a mixed breed. They'll give you all the attention and love you could hope for and cost a lot less to adopt.

Kittens usually just look like bigger versions of themselves as they get older. Pointed cats like Siamese and Tonkinese get darker with age, but the actual markings don't change.

Best age? No such thing, really. An adult cat already has its personality intact. A kitten's personality will most likely change as he ages.

Male or female doesn't matter much. Just find one you think will suit you and you'll be fine.

I'm sorry, but I'm out of time and have to leave for the day so I can't answer the rest of your questions. I'm sure someone else will be able to help you.

Good luck and congratulations!
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2004, 06:06 PM
 
Join Date: May 2004
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I definately agree that you will find the cat that is for you. Me and my partner decided we wanted two kittens or cats and was going to go to a rescue home to find two, but, while searching the net for local rescue centres, we came across the bengal breed and fell in love, we just knew that this breed was for us.

Five months later, we have bought lots of books researched on lots of sites, bought lots of toys, a cat gym, food, bedding etc and we are due to pick up our two bengals (one male, one female) kittens on Wednesday.

I have to say I have never been so excited, we have visited them twice a 5 weeks and 8 weeks and they are just adorable, have great characteristics, are lively, playful and affectionate. They definately our going to keep us on our toys. But one thing I know is that whatever they may do, I am going to love them to bits.

It is great that you are thinking of the pros and cons of having a cat, some people rush into it far too quickly, decide that they no longer want the cat and then it is neglected. So that fact that you are taking all those things into consideration is good.

Good luck in whatever you decide and believe me there is a kitten or cat out there for everyone.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2004, 07:01 PM
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Location: Garden State
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i'd recommend this book
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... ce&s=books
Aspca Complete Guide to Cats


i bought it before my cat and it's great to learn about breed characteristics.

ultimately, you ned to decide how much money you're spending. then, decide the breed or a shelter cat. In my case, i wanted a loving, beautiful family pet of a specific breed, and then picked a breeder - NEVER A PET STORE - and went ahead and purchased my baby
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2004, 07:13 PM
 
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If you're considering a special breed (you can find those in shelters too, but be aware of "false advertisement" since some like to give a domestic cat with some genes a pedigree so it would find an owner easier) you can read up on different breeds, what temperament they have, etc. Then pick a breed you like from that. If it's a cross breed some of the typical pure bred cats temperament might not be in that particular cat. But in general most cats are curious, cuddly and loving. Some have more engery than other, some is more vocal than others etc.

If you search on different breeds there's usually some description of their personality and you'll soon find out if you want that type of cat or not. Then it's more down to looks, what type of cat you thinks look cute (but be aware, all cats are cute!)

You can never say how a kitten will look like when it gets older, but most pure bred has a typical look and looking at older cats of that particular breed and color should give you an idea what they will look when they grow up.

The best age is 12-13 weeks old and up. Never take a kitten younger than that since they might not be weaned off their mother properly and not house trained as much as one would like. If you take a kitten or a grown cat is all depending on you. All ages have their own charm. When you have a wild kitten running around the house you might want to wish for it to grow up faster, but then again kittens are so darn cute so why miss that age?

I find neutered males being more cuddly than females, but I think there's very little diffrence really. Both genders are great and just make sure you have whatever gender you get neutered or spayed so you don't end up with unwanted kittens.

The risks with having a cat not bonding will be less likely if you buy a cat from a well-known breeder since they will come from a loving home and the cat will be at an age where it's gotten lots of love and learn to like humans. Health problems is something that you really can't control more than not buy a breed that have some bad health problems.

Most behaviour issues can be fixed, those are often a protest that the cat isn't happy with something in the home. Spraying is more comon in cats in heat, so get them fixed and that problem should be less.

Go to some shelters, meet some kitties and see what you like them. Talk to the staff about their behaviour etc. They usually have all types of cats, some that needs special care and some that are just normal, healthy cats that needs a home. There's a cat for every home at a shelter.

Good luck and hope you'll find your cat soon... or actually your cat will find you.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2004, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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As far as personality specific to certain breeds: a cat that is vocal, active, and like to be petted/lays in lap, etc.

As far as looks: short haired, sleek(but not super thin and stretched out), tuxedo, calico, tabby/stripped/spotted, silver/blueish etc.

I've really taken a liking to Siamese (traditional) cats, can anyone fill me in about these ones?

Other ones that I also like are Tonkinese and Burmese.

Would these type of cats be at a animal shelter, or rescue home?

Thanks!
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2004, 11:23 PM
 
Join Date: May 2004
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Vlentil, there's siamese cats, both pure bred and mix, found in shelters so why not. Some have been taken care of because the owner has grown too old and sick to care for their cat and other are just accidents.

Of course if there's a serious breeder and the kitten is young, they usually take back the cat if the owner can't take care of it (allergy, sickness etc) so there might be less pure bred Siamese in animal shelters, at least if you want a pedigree with it. But who needs a pedigree when you just want all that furry love?

Siamese are very loving and they are also perfect as a first cat. But they don't like to be left alone, so it would be an idea to take two kittens so they can keep themselves company. Or if you stay home all days, it'll have company so then it can manage on it's own.

Siamese are very dog-like in their behaviour and the likes to talk a lot, and they can be very loud. So if you don't want a chatty cat, Siamese is not for you. Our kittens, Sam and Suzy, are very chatty and they call on eachother as well as talk to us and tell us what they want (we just haven't figured out what they mean yet, we're taking a crash course in Siamese). They can also be trained easily, so you can play fetch with it or teach it to walk on leash easily.

I'm very partial to Siamese as you can tell. There's two kinds of Siamese, they are apple head ones (rounder heads) and the triangular heads (the ones I have), but that's just looks, the temperament is the same. And they also have many different colorings, which makes it hard to pick since they all are so cute!

Check out http://www.petfinder.com/ and search for the breeds you're interested in and see what you can find near you.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2004, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Is this the apple headed traditional you were talking about?


This is an awesome cat, and so are the ones you have in your signature.

The Tolkinese and Burmese, they all have some part of Siamese in them too?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2004, 11:42 PM
 
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Yes, that's an applehead. Very pretty cat!!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2004, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Where are breeders found? Would I be able to find breeders in my local area from the petfinder.com place too?
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